On February 12, 2020, the ACLU of Pennsylvania and volunteer attorneys filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the borough of Jim Thorpe, Carbon County, and two borough police officers over a traffic stop that occurred in February 2018. Arturo Jonas Joaquin Marte and two colleagues were illegally stopped by police officer Kyle Oliver and an unknown officer, who then illegally detained him for nearly four hours.

Mr. Joaquin Marte was never charged with a crime but was incarcerated in immigration detention at York County Prison. He was later released by an immigration judge on bond.

The ACLU-PA lawsuit claims that the traffic stop and detention were based on the ethnicity of the passengers, all of whom are Latino, in violation of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and that the detention of Mr. Joaquin Marte was not based on probable cause, in violation of the Fourth Amendment. It also alleges that the borough of Jim Thorpe failed to properly train its officers on the limitations that local police have in enforcing federal civil immigration law.


Vanessa Stine, Muneeba Talukder, and Witold Walczak of the ACLU of Pennsylvania; Jonathan Feinberg of Kairys, Rudovsky, Messing, Feinberg and Lin LLP; and Seth Kreimer of the University of Pennsylvania Law School

Date filed

February 12, 2020


United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania